In the Shadows of men (excerpt)

nadiaharhash

It’s difficult revisiting those memories.

A friend who worked for the organization told me, “Write down what happened and circulate it.” I was active in the Coalition of Women for Peace back then. Sending the message I wrote after that dark, hollow night gave me a sense of liberation. Writing had empowered me.

The image of my mother and cousin rushing into that presentation hall has never left me. It’s like a nightmare that stays with me. I imagined myself the way they saw me, as if in a movie scene where they catch a woman committing prostitution or adultery. Whatever. Any woman is seen as a whore when society insists on perfection.

How the female among us is considered both sacred and inviolable. Heavens lay under her feet. As the holy hadith says, “Paradise waits beneath the feet of the mother.” Yet she herself is the burning coal of…

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